Home Staging: 5 Steps To Successful Home Staging

Listing Realtor: Andrew Harrild Photographer: James Burry

Listing Realtor: Andrew Harrild
Photographer: James Burry

Many years ago, when I first started my home staging business, I spent a lot of time meeting realtors, and asking what they did to prepare for listing.  The typical response was, "oh, I just tell the client to put personal pics away, and make sure the house is tidy, and, you know, move a couple things around".  

Shudder.  No, home staging is not just tidying up and moving a couple things around.  It is so much more than that.  

Follow these 5 Steps for a Successful Home Staging.

STEP 1: Switch your mind-set.  You are no longer selling your home, you are polishing up a very expensive asset, and trying to sell it at the highest price possible.  Remove your emotions from the equation, and you will find the process of preparing for sale much easier.  When your Realtor or Home Staging Professional makes suggestions as to what to remove, tuck away, or re-purpose, it's not not personal.  Remember, you are preparing for the broader audience of buyers!

STEP 2:  Consider your demographic.  Are you sell a condo downtown, and the likely buyer is a young working professional?  Are you in a family neighbourhood?  

TIP: buying a house is usually an emotional decision.  Give the buyers something to fall in love with!

STEP 3: Do the necessary repairs.  I've heard it said on more than one occasion, "for every dollar of work that needs to be done, a buyer will discount the price by $2".  Many buyers don't have the time or energy to invest in a home that needs work.  Do as much as you can to spiff up the place beforehand. 

  1. Paint, including trim
  2. Re-caulk the tub
  3. Wash the windows
  4. Replace tired carpet with hardwood or fresh broadloom
  5. Install proper lighting (no, the builder special lights in condos don't count as proper lighting!)
  6. Detail clean

STEP 4: Consider the experience, beginning to end.  What is the buyers first impression?  Is it a small, dark entry with no storage?  What can you do to make that experience positive instead?  Move through the space as if you were shopping?  Ask your friends to do the same.  

STEP 5: Ensure furniture is appropriately sized to the space. An oversized couch can make a room seem small.  Make sure there is enough room for at least 4-5 people to maneuver through the space (think, realtor, a couple, possibly kids).  If it feels cramped, re-arrange the furniture to optimize layout and flow. 

Check out our previous blog posts for room-specific tips on how to stage: 

  1.  Entry
  2. Bedroom
  3. Kitchen
  4. Livingroom
  5. Den
  6.  Curb Appeal

If you find yourself floundering in the project, and not sure where to start, do engage a Home Staging Professional who can give you an objective opinion (and a thorough checklist) to help get your place market-ready.